Johnson & Wales took to their home court for just the second time this season on Tuesday night as they hosted Colorado College in the final leg of a home and home series. The first meeting saw the Tigers take the win at Reid Arena last Wednesday.
On Tuesday night the Wildcats struggled to get their offense going early. Colorado College jumped out to a 4-1 lead through the opening three minutes of action. Brianna Aluya (Placentia, Calif.) hit a layup at 6:50 to come within one point but CC pulled away again, extending their lead to 10 points with 2:11 left in the first quarter. JWU's offense stalled over the final 5:06 of the game as CC took a 18-5 lead into the second quarter. In the second, the 'Cats started to hit more of their shots but CC kept matching the Wildcat's bucket for bucket. After the opening 20 minutes of action, Colorado College held a 34-22 lead going into the break.
Johnson & Wales came out of halftime with a new outlook and quickly cut the Tiger's lead down to eight points after two minutes. The Wildcats continued to pressure Colorado College on the defensive end and were continued to hit their shots to cut the lead down to five points off a jumper by Andromeda Sales (Black Hawk, Colo.). The rest of the third played out with both teams hitting a shot only to see the other match it at the other end. At the end of the third, Johnson & Wales had cut the deficit down to 47-46.
A layup by Aluya just five seconds into the final quarter gave Johnson & Wales their first lead of the game. After trading buckets, Sales put Johnson & Wales up 53-50 with a three point bucket to give the 'Cats the three point advantage. Another three by Sales 34 seconds later gave JWU a two possession lead. The 'Cats felt the momentum shifting and took advantage of it. A run by CC saw the Tigers come within two points but timely three point shooting by Allison Butler (Del Norte, Colo.) helped JWU go back out front 67-60. By the final buzzer, the Wildcats had completed the rally to capture the 74-66 victory.
Aluya flirted with a triple-double, putting up 18 points, 10 rebounds and dishing out eight assists. Butler led all players with 24 points and Sales added 23 more. Casey Torbet had 13 points for Colorado College and Payton Katich finished with six rebounds.
Johnson & Wales is off for the rest of 2017 but return to action on January 4 when they host Oglala Lakota College at 5:00pm to begin 2018.